Carlos Marmol exits with hand cramp

MESA, Ariz. -- Carlos Marmol was believed to only have a cramp in his pitching hand when he was removed from his outing Tuesday.

The Chicago Cubs' closer was pitching to the Texas Rangers' Mike Olt with two outs in the seventh inning when he began flexing his right hand. He received a visit on the mound from manager Dale Sveum and a team trainer.

"When I talked to him, he said it's something he's had before and it always seems to happen in spring training," Sveum said. "It's just a cramp in his hand and there is nothing in his elbow or forearm or anything like that."

Marmol will still undergo an MRI as a precaution. He actually requested to stay in the game but Sveum elected to play it safe.

Marmol, who has had an up-and-down spring, is coming off a rough 2011 when he blew 10 save opportunities, the most in baseball.

On Tuesday, he was working on a third consecutive scoreless outing after a two-game stretch where he gave up a combined seven runs and failed to protect leads in both.